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Front. Aging Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2018.00056

The Aging Brain with HIV Infection: Effects of Alcoholism or Hepatitis C Comorbidity

  • 1Neuroscience Program, SRI International, United States
  • 2Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, United States

As successfully treated individuals with Human Immunodeficiency Virus-infected age, cognitive and health challenges of normal aging ensue, burdened by HIV, treatment side effects, and high prevalence comorbidities, notably, Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In 2013, people over 55 years old accounted for 26% of the estimated number of people living with HIV (~1.2 million). The aging brain is increasingly vulnerable to endogenous and exogenous insult which, coupled with HIV infection and comorbid risk factors, can lead to additive or synergistic effects on cognitive and motor function. This paper reviews the literature on neuropsychological and in vivo Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) evaluation of the aging HIV brain, while also considering the effects of comorbidity for AUD and HCV.

Keywords: alcohol use disorder, Alcoholism, Hepatitis C, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Diffusion Tensor Imaging, Neuropsychological Tests

Received: 31 Jul 2017; Accepted: 20 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Aurel Popa-Wagner, Department of Neurology, University Hospital Essen, Germany

Reviewed by:

James H. Cole, King's College London, United Kingdom
Valerie Cardenas, Neurobehavioral Research (United States), United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Zahr, Sullivan and Pfefferbaum. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Natalie M. Zahr, SRI International, Neuroscience Program, 333 Ravenswood Ave., BN167, Menlo Park, 94025, CA, United States,